variety of tables1 being laid out by an unseen hand in every part of his vast country, and then being cleared away. The unseen hand clears away one, then brings another in its place. You see this too, and if you use your head, you will understand that within that awesome majesty is an infinitely munificent liberality.
And see, just as all these things testify to that unseen one’s sovereignty and unity, so too these revolutions and changes which pass on in succession like caravans and are opened and closed from behind that true veil, testify to his continuance and permanence. For the causes of things disappear along with them. Whereas the things which we attribute to them, which follow on after them, are repeated. That means those works are not theirs, but the works of one who does not perish. It is understood from the the bubbles on the surface of a river disappearing and the bubbles which succeed them sparkling in the same way that what makes them sparkle is a constant and elevated possessor of light. Similarly, the speedy changing of things and the things that follow on after them assuming the same colours shows that they are the manifestations, inscriptions, mirrors, and works of art of one who is perpetual, undying, and single.
Come, my friend! Now I shall show you a decisive proof as powerful as the ten previous ones. We shall board a boat,2 and sail to a peninsula, far away. For the key to this riddle-filled world will be there. Moreover, everyone is looking to that peninsula and awaiting something from it; they are receiving orders from there. See, we are going there. Now we have arrived and have alighted on the peninsula. There is a vast gathering, a great concourse, as though all the important people of the country have gathered there. Look carefully, this great community has a leader. Come, we shall draw closer; we must become acquainted with him. Look! What brilliant decorations he has, more than a thousand of them.3 How powerfully he speaks! How pleasant is his conversation! In these two weeks I have learnt a little of what he says. You learn them from me. See, he is speaking of this country’s miracle-displaying king. He is saying that the glorious king sent him to us.
The tables indicate the face of the earth in summer, during which hundreds of tables of the Most Merciful emerge fresh and different from the kitchens of mercy. Every garden is a cauldron, every tree, a tray-bearer.
The ship indicates history, and the peninsula, the Era of Bliss or Age of the Prophet (PBUH). Through casting off the dress of this low civilization on its dark shore, entering the seas of time, boarding the ship of history and alighting at the Arabian Peninsula and Era of Bliss, and visiting the Glory of the World (PBUH) at his duties, we know that he is a proof of Divine Unity so brilliant that he illuminates the entire globe and the two faces of the past and the future, and disperses the darkness of unbelief and misguidance.
The thousand decorations are the miracles of Muhammad (PBUH), which according to those who have investigated them, reach nearly a thousand. (Bayhaqi, Dala’il, i, 10.)